by Wally Swist    Salutations: after Antonio Porchia            for Richard Shaw 1.The fields are buttercupped
and edged with ragged robin. We’ve entered the realm
of the subtle variegations of the colors of summer. 2.Wishing you well on a mid-June evening,
one on which the fading light of duskis struck with nothing less
than what I call an inner splendor spreading outward. 3.Revel in the day.  Each moment offers up specific delight:
the thick sweet scent of mulitflora roses; an oriole’s bright call,repeating itself; Deptford-pink blooming
along the southern windbreak, among yellow tansy. 4.Ah, you have seen the first fireflies,
the fireflies blinking in the darkness,filling you with their otherwordly light,
marking their appearance, enrapt with wonder.     The Bride            after Rainer Maria Rilke She inhabited the house,
This bride, who in her blondness preferred to languish here.
Each hour was filled with the tone of her voice, her breathing.
Every sound still contains her tread and bearing.Household objects, which facilitated my life,
Became forlorn whenever they discerned it was me who approached,
Since they ached for the one whose intuition held them just so;
And with whom they could be fulfilled, simply and completely.Not one item in the house could be said to be endowed with her;
However, the crystal and China clearly stated to me, “I’m not yours.”
But it was when I passed down the long hallways at dusk when
All the mirrors importuned her loveliness, entreating only a glimpse of her. —from The Schmargendorf Diary (1900) by Rainer Maria Rilke    Summer Roadside Queen Anne’s LaceYour round flat tops
are a chalice for the dew and dawn.
Your fine white floret umbrellas
could inspire designs in Valenciennes.
Imparting the extraordinary
to any field or meadow,
your precise inflorescence intimates
expansiveness, abandon.  Within you,
especially in a cluster,
we see the many as one, and the one
as many.     Blue ChicoryYou are always a kind of blue,
harmonizing with
purple clover, buttercups,
Deptford pinks, as Miles Davis’
cool trumpet sound meshed
with John Coltrane’s mesmerizing
saxophone.  Your blue dotting
the roadside is similar to
Seurat’s brush dabbing a canvas—
you appear as one,
near the empty wagon-as-corn-stand,
or the many, in a wild bundle
at the base of a street sign,
intersecting farm fields.     Purple LoosestrifeHow could such a regal
hue belie your invasive aggression?
We see the way you spring up
wild among cattails
to crowd them out
and overtake the bog.
Although your color
is so often associated with splendor,
we can nearly forgive your
path toward disruption. 
Your gentrified hues beguile us
in forgetting how agile
your are in numbers
in choking off brooks and rivers.     MulleinPhallic temple
of a plant, no wonder you are
also nicknamed Aaron’s Rod.
Your velvety soft  leaves
were used as socks
by the Algonquin to line
their moccasins.  You are
also known as the Candlewick
Plant, since your dried stems
and  leaves were used to make
wicks to light lamps.  Tea
made from you was given to
treat those with bronchitis
and asthma.  Your little
five-petaled yellow flowers
alight your tall spike.  How
much their broad array
fills us with simple wonder.     Kundalini: Twin Flames 1.We have finally found it—
something written
about our awakening together
in October, and it is Januaryalready.  Our spirits soar
as we read, corroborating
signs of the manifestation
of your face becomingan orb of white light and
the jagged-white flames
of light partially obscuring
my face, all of which streamedthrough us, for over two hours
in your kitchen, on the last
Sunday in October.  But it is
in reading aloud about whatwe experienced that we come
to know what others observed,
too.  Afterward when I stand up,
the coursing of a current rises through the chakras in my body,
that rush, like a fountain, up
through sarhasrara, that crest
beyond the top of my head;and you feel a tingling
throughout your body,
especially from the dearness
of your feet up throughyour legs. Blissfully aware
that our consciousness
expands, you tell me that
your heart throbs with joy. 2.While you listen to me read,
you notice that our friends
are back again.  You can see
a faint violet aura nearthe louvered kitchen door
behind me and flashing
white lights.  It is always
you seeing the colors andthe lights.  Our friends must
find you the trustworthy one
among the two of us, since
your strength and resilienceis something that can be
counted on.  While you listened
to me read aloud again last night,
you told me this morningthat you saw a green aura
surrounding me, which is
the Archangel Metatron’s
color.  This archangel isis responsible for changing
negative thoughts to positive
ones, whose sacred geometry
is evident in his appearancein a spinning cube of light,
revolving clockwise, known
as Metatron’s Cube, which
clears undesired psychic residue.Both of us present enough just to be,
to experience that grace, of what
expands within us, and beyond us,
you tell me your heart throbs with joy.   Oh, What a Pity: An Ode to Paula Modersohn-Becker 1.First modern woman artist.
First woman artist to paint a self-portrait of herself naked, while she was pregnant. Close friend of artist Clara Westhoff and poet Rainer Maria Rilke,
you lived a short but prolific life, producing up to 80 paintings per year.Married to a renown German landscape painter, Otto Modersohn,
you were perplexed as to what name to sign her paintings by,and even discussed your anxiety over this decision with Rilke—
finally acceding to the hyphenated combination of your sur nameand your married name, Modersohn-Becker.
Originally having met Clara Westhoff and Rainer Maria Rilkewhile living in the Worpswede Artists Colony, the friendship the three of you
enjoyed extended past your time thereperpetuated even while Clara and Rainer were in Paris
working for Rodin.  You combination of naïve art and your intuitiveassimilation of impressionism was both resonant and poignant in your painting. 
Although you only sold three paintings during your life,your work is now known worldwide.  You are now considered to have lead
the modernist movement in art, along with Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. 2.A woman of her own mind, you defied your parents
to join the Worpswede Artists Colony where you not only met the Rilkes but also Otto Modersohn, who became your husband. 
Your parents tried to intervene in your engagement, and sent you to cooking school,so she could be an attending wife.  But you desperately “wanted to be somebody,”
and stood firm in your following your dreamsof becoming an accomplished painter.  You frequently painted women
as they gardened, as they breastfed, and as they slept.You died at the early age of thirty-one
from an embolism after giving birth to your daughter, Mathilde.  Your last wordsrecorded were: Oh, what a pity. 
You are also known for your paintings of lemons, cherries, and pumpkins. These are mentioned in Rilke’s elegy to you, his soul mate, in “Requiem for a Friend,”
which is memorable for many lines, but certainly for these two:“For somewhere an old enmity exists
between our life and the great works we do.”…/ › Newsfeed › Google Doodle   About the Author:Wally SwistWally Swist’s recent books include The Map of Eternity (Shanti Arts, 2018), Singing for Nothing: Selected Nonfiction as Literary Memoir (The Operating System, 2018), and On Beauty: Essays, Reviews, Fiction, and Plays (Adelaide Books. 2018).  His book A Bird Who Seems to Know Me: Poems Regarding Birds & Nature was the winner of the 2018 Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Prize and published in 2019.  Forthcoming books include Evanescence: Selected and New Poems (2019) and The Bees of the Invisible (2020), also from Shanti Arts of Brunswick, Maine.